Sending thoughts and support to those affected by the California wildfires
As the largest wildfire in California history continues to grow we are monitoring the effects of all the active and recent fires across the state and how we can help. The Carr, Ferguson and Mendocino Complex fires have affected several state parks and public lands including Clear Lake State Park, Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park, Shasta State Historic Park, Mount San Jacinto State Park, Yosemite National Park and Mendocino National Forest. The California State Parks Foundation will be looking at the ways our programs can help the affected state parks recover and re-open to the public. You can find current fire information here, and ways to help the people and communities affected here.
Grant provides Summer Learning trips to Mount Tamalpais State Park
As many students start to head back to school this month, for several hundred students, state parks served as their classroom this summer. With a grant from the State Coastal Conservancy, we provided funds for bus transportation to five Summer Learning trips at Mount Tamalpais State Park throughout June and July.
Transportation is a common and significant barrier for getting youth to engage with parks. By funding these buses and partnering with Bay Area schools, East Bay Asian Youth Center, YMCA SF and Outdoor Afro, we’ve helped elementary and middle school students from Oakland, San Francisco and San Rafael enjoy and experience state parks, many for the first time. Lead by Department of Parks and Recreation staff, the Summer Learning trips included overnight camping, guided walks, outdoor lab experiments and educational curriculum on climate change and coastal ecosystems.
Research shows that this type of park-based learning reduces summer learning-loss and teaches students new ways to explore, setting them up for more success in the coming school year.
An “epic” road trip of California state parks
Earlier this summer our executive director, Rachel Norton, embarked on a road trip of some of California’s most remote and spectacular state parks. Along with her sister and mother, Rachel covered almost 1,000 miles and visited seven California state parks, one National Historic Site and one U.S. Forest Service site. Read about her adventure and see pictures from the trip on our blog!
July Photo of the Month Winner
Congratulations to Ricardo, whose photo of two great horned owls taken at Natural Bridges State Park is July’s Photo of the Month winner!
Ricardo said he was fortunate to see this rare sighting of the owls near Monarch Grove, a natural preserve at Natural Bridges State Beach. The photo captures “the two interacting just when the light was completely gone."
You could be our next winner! Join our My California State Parks Flickr group to become part of a community of photographers and park lovers sharing their images. Once a month, a winner is selected to win a prize!